Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseIrina Cioc was born in Ciurari, Teleorman County, Romania near the Burnaia River in 1909. She received a law degree from the University of Bucharest and became an attorney. In 1933, she took a flight from Bucharest to Constanta, Romania, and became interested in aviation. The pilot of that particular flight, Petre Ivanovici, introduced her to a government-sponsored training program in which he served as an instructor. She began flight lessons one month later, and received her pilot's license on 27 Oct 1933, becoming the second Romanian woman to earn the license after Ioana Cantacuzino. In the subsequent years, she would make several flights to Africa, tours that aimed at promoting interest in aviation in Romania. In 1937, she was awarded with the Order of Aeronautical Virtue. In the same year, she published My Wings: The Memory of Petre Ivanovici, who had died in an aircraft accident in 1936. In 1938, she married Grigore Stoenescu who shared her interest in flying. After the start of the war, Irina Burnaia, a nom de guerre named after the river near her home village, joined the Romanian Air Force's all-women "White Squadron", transporting the wounded from the front lines. In 1942, she became divorced from Stoenescu. In the same year, she was transferred to the Bugului Squadron, which would be renamed the Bessarabia (Basarabiei) Squadron in the following year. After the war, in 1946, she married Traian Udriski. In Jan 1948, she fled Romania for Beirut, Lebanon shortly after the establishment of the Communist Romanian state. In 1950, she was found guilty of war crimes in absentia by the Communist government. In 1958, Burnaia and Udriski moved to Geneva, Switzerland due to unrest in Lebanon. She published her war time memoirs in 1988. She passed away in Geneva in 1997.
Last Major Revision: Mar 2015
Irina Burnaia Interactive Map
Irina Burnaia Timeline
|2 Aug 1933Â||Irina Cioc took a flight from Bucharest to Constanta, Romania and became interested in aviation.|
|5 Sep 1933Â||Irina Cioc began flight lessons in Romania.|
|27 Oct 1933Â||Irina Cioc received her pilot's license, becoming the second Romanian woman to do so.|
|3 Jan 1948Â||Irina Burnaia fled out of Romania for Lebanon.|
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